Orthodoxy IX: Authority and the Adventurer

as a placeholder until we get to discussing this finale to Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, we here begin with the finale.  His mention of mirth reminds me of the description of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings:

Thus Aragorn became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elvenwise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, from which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.   Return of the King, Appendix A.5,

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“And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.”

Lewis 104: Men without Chests, the Tao and the Abolition of Man

 

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.  We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful”

  • C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Come visit our inaugural issue of An Unexpected Journal , “The Abol_Issue””  (very bottom) where we discuss C.S. Lewis’s critique of relativism in morality and modern education, and how not utopian but dystopian societies result, which put at risk our very humanity.  But first, follow a brief discussion here … Continue reading

Lewis 101 / Tolkien 101: I’ve Seen Trees from Both Sides Now …

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You look at trees and label them just so …
He sees no stars who does not see them first
of living silver made that sudden burst
to flame like flowers beneath the ancient song,
whose very echo after-music long
has since pursued. There is no firmament,
only a void, unless a jeweled tent
myth-woven and elf-patterned; and no earth,
unless the mother’s womb whence all have birth.

– JRR Tolkien Mythopoeia: To one who said that myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though “breathed through silver” PHILOMYTHUS TO MISOMYTHUS

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Lewis 103: The Weight of Glory

 

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I’ve always heard zippy CS Lewis quotes, but when I tried to pick up one of his important sounding books like Mere Christianity,  The Abolition of Man or even the fictional Space Trilogy, it always seemed like a struggle.  One Master’s degree in Christian Thought and Cultural Apologetics later … and it can still be a struggle. But struggle through his stuff, and others, we did. Hence this site … Continue reading